Someone tried to scam me once.. A friend of a friend said someone on her bbm needed professional models for a well paid job and it was urgent. She hadn't met this guy before but she told me of how he has connections with big commercial modelling jobs and she really wanted to get one of those. Anyways, I gave her permission to give him my pin to discuss further with the agent(let's call him John). He told me he is Ghanian, works for some advertising company and the job was for an international magazine.
The job would involve me travelling to a place, taking nude pictures but my face will be cut out of the picture and I'll get paid over 2000dollars. We had our first chat earlier in the day and I received details of the job via two voice notes. Later in the evening, he started chatting with me like we had not spoken before, asking for my name again and sending me the same voice notes. Yup!! Everything about him was off and I'll give you more reasons pretty soon. In the end, I warned him, deleted him and told the girl that introduced me to him to do the same. I also gave her some advice that I will share with you.
When I listened to the voicenote, John sounded like a Nigerian with a funky fake "british" accent. I can not understand why some Nigerians feel the need to borrow accent. *sigh* This was free comedy for me but when I thought about it later, I felt sorry for the girls that might fall for it especially since the pay was high.
In July this year, someone contacted me on facebook that her sister met a guy who promised to get her into Arise Fashion Week 2012 if she will pay him some amount of money. Her sister believed him but she wanted to contact me first to be sure. I told her it was very untrue and I was disappointed that her sister who wants to be a model doesn't know that the biggest show in Africa had already been done in March. There are a lot of "funny" people in this industry.
People that are ready to take advantage of how desperate some models are.Once they smell desperation on you, they'll feed on it. They'll tell you lies to get money from you and offer you "shortcuts" to the top. FAKE agencies, FAKE agents and FAKE modelling jobs.
Here's some advice that might be useful to some of you. You can not want to be a model and not know about the fashion industry. You just can't!! Be patient and try to know all the important people in the fashion industry first. Be familiar with the top fashion events and competitions. You have to be knowledgeable about the industry you want to work in. As they say, Knowledge is Power. Sites like this one are here to help you. There's also; www.hautefashionafrica.com and many others. Magazines like mania, complete fashion, fab and genevieve magazine are also useful. Also, be up to date with the fashion industry abroad as well.
When someone approaches you about a job, ask him or her for their website, blog , facebook page, twitter page, instagram , pinterest or wherever it is he or she has a portfolio ONLINE. Find out jobs they've done and who they've worked with. You can get all that information online. Anyone that claims they have none of their works online or starts to tell you stories shouldn't be trusted.
Find out about the job or about the company or magazine that is requesting for a model. If you google about some jobs , you'll most likely find many other people that have been scammed with that same job!! If you are new and don't have any friends in the fashion industry that is experienced , I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you find and Join a good agency
If for any good reason you do not want to, then look out for only respectable shows e.g Arise fashion week, music meets runway, lagos fashion and design week, etc or competitions like elite model look nigeria, face of sleek, etc especially for those that want to go into runway and editorials. Events like these will expose you to the right kind of people and will help you grow.
I hope all these helps.